Photography Explained

19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone

June 17, 2021 Rick McEvoy Episode 73
Photography Explained
19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone
Chapters
Photography Explained
19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone
Jun 17, 2021 Episode 73
Rick McEvoy

19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone. Hi and welcome to Episode 73 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m your host Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. And not Google.

Here is my answer
To take better photos with a phone you need to first think about what you are taking a photo of, and why. Spend time thinking about the composition of the photo, and try your phone held upright and rotated through 90 degrees. You need to know how your camera works, and use the best app that you have to take photos with. Finally, to take better photos with a phone you need to practise!

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 74, How To Take Better Videos With A Phone Explained In Less Than 10 Minutes.

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

Show Notes Transcript

19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone. Hi and welcome to Episode 73 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m your host Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. And not Google.

Here is my answer
To take better photos with a phone you need to first think about what you are taking a photo of, and why. Spend time thinking about the composition of the photo, and try your phone held upright and rotated through 90 degrees. You need to know how your camera works, and use the best app that you have to take photos with. Finally, to take better photos with a phone you need to practise!

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 74, How To Take Better Videos With A Phone Explained In Less Than 10 Minutes.

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

19 Tips To Help Take Better Photos With A Phone. Hi and welcome to Episode 73 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m your host Rick, and in each episode I will try to explain one photographic thing to you in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. And not Google.

Before I go on if you have a question you would like me to answer just go to photographyexplainedpodcast.com/start.

And yes – I have changed the title since the last episode to something much more snappy!

Here is the answery bit

To take better photos with a phone you need to first think about what you are taking a photo of, and why. Spend time thinking about the composition of the photo, and try your phone held upright and rotated through 90 degrees. You need to know how your camera works, and use the best app that you have to take photos with. Finally, to take better photos with a phone you need to practise!

OK – that is the answer. Now let’s go through those 19 things one by one.

1 First why and what are you taking a photo of?

It might sound obvious but think about this for a second rather than just turning up somewhere and taking photos left, right and centre, which is so easy and tempting to do, especially with a phone.

This is what I do.

2 Take your time

Having stopped and thought, slow down, take your time, relax. There is no rush, photography is a thing to take your time over, something to be thought about and enjoyed.

3 Look around

Yes seriously. And I will add to that. When I look around I also walk around, see what I can find, see what is of interest to me. This is how I find the good stuff that others can easily miss.

4 Get close

Most camera phone lenses are wide angle lenses. That means that you have a wide field of view, meaning that things look quite far away. This is normal with a phone, although I am not really sure why.

You probably need to get in closer to make the subject of the photo more prominent. This is a common problem with photos taken with phones.

5 Try the telephoto lens

If you are lucky enough to have a phone with two lenses, the chances are that the default lens is a wide angle lens, and that the other lens is a telephoto lens. This is the case with my iPhone XS.

How can you tell?

Take a photo with the default lens first. Then take a photo with the second lens.

The photo taken with the second lens should look more like how you see things with your own eyes. Everything should be closer in and larger.

The reality is that the telephoto lens on an iPhone XS, using my phone as an example, is similar to a standard lens on a DSLR.

Use the “telephoto lens” and your photos will automatically stand out.

6 Clean the lens!

Yes this is a must. Where has your phone been? In a bag? In your pocket? Who knows? Just buy a small cloth that folds into a cover of some sort which you can put in a pocket or bag – that is all I am talking about.

Or if you wear glasses use the same cloth that you use to clean them.

7 Composition

Now we are getting into the good stuff. Take time and care over the composition. You can listen to other episodes where I talk a lot about composition.

Composition is the content of the photo, and what people are looking at.

Composition is king.

A great composition makes a great photo, a rubbish composition makes a rubbish photo.

8 Rules of composition

Check out the episodes where I talk about the rules of composition, and also which rules of composition I use.

Use the gridlines to help compose your photos – they will help you massively.

9 Portrait and landscape

Portrait is with the phone held normally, long side vertical, and landscape is with the camera rotated though 90 degrees, long side horizontal.

Basically however you take the first photo try the composition with the camera rotated through 90 degrees.

10 Angles and viewpoints

Try different angles and viewpoints of the chosen subject matter. I do this with my architectural photography work, and sometimes get something really different.

Not every time to be fair but it’s always worth a try.

11 Light

What is the light doing? Look at the light, and see how it is affecting the parts of the scene that you are photographing.

Move around and see how the light changes.

Shoot into the sun and see what happens. Shoot with the sun at 90 degrees, behind you, over your shoulder, to the left, and to the right.

And see what you get.

12 Play

Play around and try stuff, and you never know what you might get. And you might get something that becomes your thing.

13 Know how your phone camera works

There is more to this than just taking the photo – find out what your phone camera can do. You might be missing out on some very useful extra features.

14 Try HDR

Talking of which – HDR – High Dynamic Range. I use this with my DSLRs on my architectural photography work. On a camera phone it is a setting within an app.

With HDR you are, in very simplistic terms, getting more at the light and dark ends of the scale. More of the light bits and more of the dark bits, which helps make the photos look better.

15 Do you need a tripod?

On my commercial work I always use a tripod. And when I am taking photos with my phone I do every now and then. And always for videos, but that is for the next episode.

I find that when I put my camera or my phone on a tripod it slows me down and I take more time taking the photos, and do you know what – the photos are usually better?

16 Pick the app for you to take photos with

I use the default camera app on my iPhone for general stuff, and for serious stuff I love using the free Lightroom app.

17 Photograph in RAW

I use Lightroom to take photos, and it take photos in RAW, which gives me more data when I am editing my photos in Lightroom.

If you don’t have a clue what RAW is let me tell you quickly. A RAW photo has had no processing done to it, you do all that yourself.

18 Processing

Don’t go over the top with processing. I use Lightroom to enhance the content of the photo and no more. I have never used a filter on a photo. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

19 Edit the images you share

Yep, there are two parts to editing. One is editing the photos, and the other is editing the photos that you edit. Edit the good stuff, not everything. And this applies to sharing. I should have said this before editing shouldn’t I?

The talky bit

Well there is only one more thing that I want to get across. There is a tendency with a phone to just go out and take photos, which is of course fine, but a little bit of time, care and thought will help you to take better photos.

If you treat taking photos with a phone more like you would do taking photos with a camera you will set yourself a level above most people.

Treat your phone as a camera and not a phone with a camera – that is pretty much what it is these days.

Change your mindset from taking photos with your phone to using your phone as a camera to take photos.

And if you have never used a camera before then that is fine – follow the 19 tips above, and take this last piece of advice from me.

When I go out on a shoot I am looking to get a couple of photos. On a commercial shoot I will often only issue 20-30 photos to a client from a half or full day shooting.

My one line summary

To take better photos with a phone take your time, think, and practise more but take less photos.

Next episode

Episode 74 – How To Take Better Videos With A Phone – title to be finalised.

Going weekly

I am going weekly very soon – more on that in a future episode. I just wanted to tell you now that I have made that decision.

I’m done

Thanks for listening to my small but perfectly formed podcast. To find out more about my podcast and do stuff to help me check out Photographyexplainedpodcast.com/start.

Brought to you by

This episode was brought to you by Yorkshire Tea. No they are not paying me for this, this is what I drink during the day.

I’ve been Rick McEvoy, thanks again very much for listening to me and for giving me 10 (ish) minutes of your valuable time, and I will see you on the next episode.

Cheers from me Rick